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Vitamin D: A Powerhouse!

As the days get shorter and we spend more time indoors, getting enough Vitamin D is trickier! Vitamin D plays a role in almost every process in your body so it is important to keep healthy levels all year round!

 

What is Vitamin D?

Our bodies need Vitamin D to maintain healthy bones, reduce inflammation, maintain healthy muscles and brain function. Vitamin D keeps our metabolism functioning, and keep our immune system strong! A lack of vitamin D in the body can lead to a slew of health concerns, such as osteoporosis, or brittle-bone disease, decreased insulin production, and lowered immune function!

 

How much Vitamin D do you need?

The amount of vitamin D you need will depend on your sex, age, race, and sun exposure levels. People over the age of 65, people with darker complexions, and people who spend less time outside will need more vitamin D in their diets. Most adults need about 600 IUs a day. Those over 70 need even more vitamin D. Signs you might not be getting enough vitamin D are fatigue, bone pain, muscle weakness, and mood changes, like depression.

 

Where do we get Vitamin D?

Our biggest source of Vitamin D is the sun! When the ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun hit our skin, vitamin D synthesis begins. Most experts suggest direct exposure to the face, arms, and legs for 5 to 30 minutes mid-day several times a week. Sunshine can provide vitamin D, but it is hard to track how much vitamin D our bodies are producing based on age, time of year, sunscreen, skin complexation, etc. This means we must include vitamin D in our healthy and balanced diets. Food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines, mushrooms, fortified milk and yogurt products, and eggs.

 

 

Photo Caption: Many foods naturally provide Vitamin D including salmon, tuna, herring, and egg yolks. Vegetables sources include spinach, kale, okra, kale and soybeans. Many foods are fortified with Vitamin D including milk, cheese, cereal, and orange juice. Check the label to be sure. (Photo: Canva)

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